The match was played at a high intensity from the first whistle as both teams wrestled for control of the game early. But it was the USA that landed the first blow in the 22nd minute as Clint Dempsey, playing in the city where he suits up for Seattle Sounders FC, opened the scoring with a textbook headed finish.
The U.S. carried the lead into the second half where cards began to take their toll on both teams. In the 52nd minute, both sides had players sent off as Antonio Valencia received a second caution for Ecuador and Jermaine Jones earned a straight red for an after-the-play incident for the U.S. Both teams kept up the high tempo despite being reduced to 10-men but the U.S. was able to exploit the additional space when Gyasi Zardes tapped home what proved to be the game-clincher in the 65th minute.
Although Ecuador pulled a goal back from a set piece – Michael Arroyo picked out the lower left corner of Brad Guzan’s goal as Ecuador utilized crafty play deep in U.S. territory – they were not able to further breach a staunch U.S. defense led by center back duo John Brooks and Geoff Cameron.